Nail Art Tutorial: Dotty Nails

Seeing Spots Nail Art Swatches & TutorialGuess what? Several weeks ago, I finally bought a set of 5 double-sided dotting tools!

I wasn’t planning to show these Dotty Nails because I really was just playing around with the tools. I wasn’t thinking about what colours would look nice together. I was just having fun! 🙂

But when I ran out of space on my nails, I looked at the random design and actually kinda liked it! So I wore my spontaneous creation.

I’ve always wanted to do a manicure with all dots. It’s super easy and really fast. Plus there’s something satisfying about creating each dot for some reason.

I liked it, but maybe you think it looks like the connect-the-dots measles. Haha! 😛

Dotty Nail Art Swatches

All swatches have:

Seeing Spots Nail Art Swatches & Tutorial

Natural Light

Nail Art Using a Dotting Tool Nail Art Tutorial

Direct Sunlight

OPI Mermaid's Tears Nail Art Tutorial & Swatches

Natural Light

Seeing Spots Nail Art Tutorial

Natural Light

Dotting Tool Nail Art

Direct Sunlight

Dot Nail Art Tutorial & Swatch


Dotty Manicure Nail Art

Direct Sunlight

Nail Art Using Dotting Tools

Natural Light




*~* Dotty Nail Art Tutorial *~*

Dotty Nails Supplies

What I Used:

  1. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
  2. China Glaze Liquid Leather
  3. OPI Alpine Snow
  4. OPI Stranger Tides
  5. OPI Mermaid’s Tears
  6. Piece of foil
  7. Daniel Stone dotting tool #4

Step 1: Apply a Base Coat

Yes, I’m a hypocrite because I didn’t even use a base coat. Normally I do except when I’m playing around with polish (like I was with this). If you plan to wear this manicure for more than a day, wear a base coat, especially if you’re wearing a colour that may stain your nails.

Step 2: Paint Your Nails Your Base Colour

Here I used OPI Mermaid’s Tears, which went on smoothly and opaquely. I just needed 2 coats to achieve what you see below.

Wait about 10 minutes to allow this to dry a bit before you go all dotty.

OPI Mermaid's Tears Review & Swatches

Click on the above link to see my swatches & review of OPI Mermaid's Tears!

Step 3: Add Your First Colour of Dots

Put a few drops of polish onto your piece of foil. Use your dotting tool, end of a brush handle, toothpick, or whatever else you’re using to apply the dots.

Since I was just playing around, I did a random pattern and wasn’t really thinking about what I was doing. Using a dotting tool, I’ve found, is very relaxing and fun! (Maybe my life is boring.) 😛

Seeing Spots Nail Art Tutorial Step 1

Step 4: Repeat Step 3, but with Another Colour

Seeing Spots Nail Art Tutorial Step 2

Step 5: Ditto

Once you’ve finished adding all the different-coloured dots you want, wait about 10-15 minutes to give everything a chance to dry before you continue to the next step.

Seeing Spots Nail Art Tutorial Step 3

Step 6: Apply a Top Coat

This will seal in your design, plus it flattens any bumpy dots.

Step 7: Avoid Calling the Eye Doctor Even If You’re Seeing Spots (on Your Nails)

So this design was probably a bit of a let-down for you. I really put no effort into this since I had no intention of posting it on here. But…who knows, maybe somebody will like my ugly colour combination. 😛

Next time I do a dotting design for the blog, it’ll look better. I promise! 😀

Do you own a dotting tool or do you prefer to make use of things you already have? Have you ever painted your nails and did a spontaneous design? Are you shocked that I didn’t use a base coat?


16 thoughts on “Nail Art Tutorial: Dotty Nails

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey imfeelingnail-venturous!

      Thanks so much – it was fun just placing random dots on my nails without over-thinking the design. 🙂

  1. Carmela

    Oooooh. I like how this reminds me of a Rorschach inkblot test, but with dots! I know it’s random, but I can’t help looking for patterns anyway. Hahaha! 🙂

    Which dotting tool do you have? I’ve been dying to do a dotted mani and I tried to use what I had in the kitchen: toothpicks. Didn’t quite work out so well. The dots were too thick so they took too long to dry (I smeared a lot when I applied top coat too soon) and were all bumpy even with top coat. @_@ But if you were me, would you get the Bundlemonster plates first or a dotting tool?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      Ahahaha! And, what do you see on my nail Rorschach inkblot test? Let me guess…a bottle of nail polish! 😛 In the first photo, I see the letters “N” and “P” on my middle finger. N and P? Nail Polish? Hehehe, and it was unintentional! I really am in serious trouble, aren’t I? What’s the cure, Doctor? More nail polish? I’m gonna have to refer you!

      I have Daniel Stone dotting tools (with plastic handles) and one wooden dotting tool that I have no idea what brand it is.

      If I were you, I’d get the Bundle Monster plates first because nobody really needs dotting tools. You can actually get away with using the tip of a makeup brush handle and it works really well. I’ve tried that many times before I had a dotting tool, and it works pretty well. But, yeah, with any tool you use, the key is waiting a while after. It’s frustrating when you put in a lot of effort and the design gets smudged at the very end. Oh, also, when you place the top coat on, try to apply as light pressure as you can and don’t let your brush touch your nail…just the glob of polish. And try not to go over the same area more than once. There will be fewer chances of smudging.

      1. Carmela

        I definitely see that “P” and we all know that can only stand for polish! 😀 Actually, if I look close enough I read it from pinky to index, I get a “V”, “C”, “S” and “P”. So maybe it’s a subliminal message: Various countless, Secure polish? So yes, much more polish is probably the cure. Oooh, we’re sooo bad. 😛

        Thanks for the tips, Mary! I’m not very good with waiting for layers of polish to dry but I probably should if I want it to turn out great. Bundlemonster it is (I’ve been hemming and hawing over it too much that I probably should just already up and pull the trigger)! I never even thought to use makeup brushes. Maybe I’ll give that a go some time.

        1. Mary Post author

          Hey Carmela!

          YES, we ALL know that P stands for polish! Hehehe! 😉 Oh the addiction we have! 😛 Haha! I like that subliminal “VCSP” message!

          Woo hoo! I’m excited for you to try out the Bundle Monster plates! 😀

          The only thing is that if you use makeup brushes, just don’t use really pricey ones like MAC. I’d just use ones that you don’t mind if there’s nail polish or discolouration on the tip after you use it as a dotting tool. Sometimes the acetone polish remover can strip the handle of its paint. If you have any nail-art brushes, you could also use the handles of those, too. They also sell really cheap painting brushes at the dollar store. You could buy those and just use the handles as dotting tools.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Katie!

      I wish I could do spontaneous designs more often. Usually I really over-think my designs before I start. It’s still fun, but I want to just let the moment dictate my manicures to see if something cool comes out as a result!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ruthe!

      Thank you – those were the polishes I had sitting in front of me, so I just grabbed them and anxiously started testing my dotting tools with them.

  2. Marta

    Love the colour combination of this manicure and yay for taking your new dotting tools for a lovely test-drive!
    You know, whenever I see swatches of this shade on blogs I’m in love… but then I see the bottle in the store and I always put it back (after much hhhhming and humming)… I love how it looks on you!!!! *sigh*
    Marta recently posted: Past, Present, and Future!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      Thanks! (And thanks again for the huge surprise today! :D)

      I think the staff at my local Trade Secrets think I’m crazy. They’ve seen me go to the display, pick up that shade, and put it back about 5 times (although not in the same day, thank goodness!). And then I ended up getting it online…haha! Go figure!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Becky!

      YAY! I’m excited for you to try out your dotting tool – you may like it so much that you make an excuse to put dots on more nail-art designs you come up with…hehehe! 😉

      Glad you liked the colours. Sometimes me being lazy and just grabbing the closest bottles of polish near me pays off. 😛


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge